Pressure washing is an essential step to maintain the beauty and integrity of any redwood deck. Over time, dirt, grime, and algae can accumulate on the surface, making it look dull and unattractive. By using a pressure washer, you can easily remove these unwanted substances and restore the natural color and beauty of your deck.

Before you start pressure washing your redwood deck, it’s important to take some precautions. First, make sure to wear protective clothing, including goggles and closed-toe shoes, to protect yourself from any flying debris or chemicals. Also, remove any furniture or plants from the deck to ensure they won’t get damaged during the cleaning process.

When it comes to pressure washing a redwood deck, it’s crucial to choose the right nozzle and pressure setting. Using a fan nozzle with a wide spray angle will help prevent any damage to the wood. Start with a low to medium pressure and gradually increase it if necessary. Remember to always test a small, inconspicuous area of the deck first to ensure that the pressure is not too high.

During the pressure washing process, it’s important to keep the wand moving continuously to avoid causing any damage to the wood. Aim the wand at a downward angle to prevent water from getting trapped between the boards, as this can lead to mold and rot. If you encounter any stubborn stains or areas, you can use a scrub brush or a deck cleaner to pre-treat them before pressure washing.

After pressure washing the redwood deck, allow it to dry completely before applying any sealant or stain. This will ensure that the wood absorbs the sealant properly and helps protect it from further damage. Regularly pressure washing your redwood deck will not only keep it looking its best, but it will also prolong its lifespan, allowing you to enjoy its beauty for years to come.

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Preparation for Pressure Washing

Before you begin pressure washing your redwood deck, it is important to properly prepare the area to ensure the best results. Follow these steps to prepare your deck for pressure washing:

1. Clear the deck

Remove all furniture, plants, and other items from the deck. This will prevent any damage to these items and allow for a thorough cleaning.

2. Sweep the deck

Use a broom or brush to sweep away any loose dirt, debris, or leaves from the surface of the deck. This will make the pressure washing process more effective.

3. Cover nearby plants and surfaces

If there are any plants or surfaces near the deck that you want to protect from the pressure washing, cover them with plastic sheeting or tarps. This will prevent any cleaning solution or debris from reaching these areas.

4. Inspect the deck

Take a close look at your redwood deck and inspect for any signs of damage, such as loose boards, cracked wood, or protruding nails. Address any necessary repairs before pressure washing to avoid causing further damage.

5. Wet the surrounding area

Before you start pressure washing, thoroughly wet the surrounding area, including walls, windows, and nearby surfaces. This will prevent any detergent or dirt from splashing onto these areas during the cleaning process.

By following these preparation steps, you can ensure that your redwood deck is ready for a successful pressure washing. Taking the time to prepare properly will help you achieve the best possible results and protect your deck from any potential damage.

Clearing the Deck

Before you begin pressure washing your redwood deck, it’s important to clear the deck of any furniture, plants, or other items that could get in the way or be damaged during the cleaning process. Move all chairs, tables, and other deck accessories to another location, and trim any nearby plants or branches that could interfere with the cleaning process.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to cover any nearby electrical outlets, light fixtures, or other sensitive areas with plastic sheeting or tarps to protect them from the water and cleaning solution.

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Gathering the Materials

Before you begin pressure washing your redwood deck, it’s important to gather all the necessary materials. Here is a list of items you will need:

1. Pressure Washer

Make sure you have a pressure washer that is suitable for cleaning a deck. Look for a model with an adjustable pressure setting, as redwood is a relatively soft wood and can be damaged if the pressure is too high.

2. Deck Cleaner

Choose a deck cleaner specifically designed for use with redwood. Look for a cleaner that is biodegradable and safe for plants and pets. It’s important to remove any dirt, mold, or mildew that may have built up on the deck before pressure washing.

3. Safety Gear

Wearing the proper safety gear is crucial when pressure washing. Make sure you have safety goggles or glasses to protect your eyes from debris, as well as ear protection to reduce the noise from the pressure washer. Additionally, wearing old clothing and closed-toe shoes is recommended.

4. Brushes or Scrubbing Tools

In some cases, you may need to use brushes or scrubbing tools to remove stubborn stains or dirt from the deck. Have a few different types of brushes on hand, such as a stiff bristle brush or a scrub brush, to tackle different areas of the deck.

5. Protective Coverings

If you have any nearby plants or furniture that you want to protect from overspray or cleaning solution, make sure to have protective coverings, such as plastic tarps or drop cloths, to cover them.

Once you have gathered all the necessary materials, you will be ready to begin pressure washing your redwood deck.

Preparing the Pressure Washer

Before you begin pressure washing your redwood deck, it’s important to properly prepare the pressure washer.

1. Read the instruction manual

Start by thoroughly reading the instruction manual of your pressure washer. Familiarize yourself with its features, controls, and safety precautions.

2. Gather the necessary equipment

Make sure you have all the necessary equipment before starting. This includes a pressure washer, water supply, extension cords (if needed), a garden hose, and safety gear such as gloves and safety goggles.

3. Choose the right nozzle

Pressure washers usually come with a selection of nozzles for different cleaning tasks. Select the appropriate nozzle for washing your redwood deck. A wide fan spray pattern nozzle with a medium pressure is typically suitable for this type of job.

4. Connect the garden hose

Connect the garden hose to the water inlet of the pressure washer. Make sure the hose is tightly secured to prevent leaks. Also, check that the hose is free of kinks or blockages that could disrupt water flow.

5. Connect the necessary accessories

If your pressure washer has any additional accessories such as detergent injectors or surface cleaners, connect them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

6. Test the pressure washer

Before using the pressure washer on your redwood deck, it’s important to test it first. Start by turning on the water supply and then turning on the pressure washer. Point the nozzle away from yourself and any delicate objects, then squeeze the trigger to activate the pressure. Check for any leaks, unusual noises, or irregularities.

Once you have completed these steps, your pressure washer is ready to be used on your redwood deck. Just remember to follow all safety guidelines, including proper posture and not pointing the nozzle at people or pets.

Protecting Surrounding Areas

When pressure washing a redwood deck, it’s important to protect any surrounding areas to prevent damage or overspray. Here are some steps you can take to protect the surrounding areas:

  1. Cover nearby plants and vegetation with plastic tarps or sheets to shield them from the force of the pressure washer and any cleaning chemicals.
  2. Remove any furniture, grills, or other objects from the deck area to ensure they won’t be damaged or get in the way during the cleaning process.
  3. Use plastic or cardboard barriers to protect walls, windows, and adjacent surfaces from overspray or debris kicked up by the pressure washer. Secure these barriers in place with tape or clamps.
  4. If there are any electrical outlets or light fixtures near the deck, cover them with waterproof plastic bags or electrical tape to prevent water damage.
  5. Make sure any nearby windows or doors are securely closed to prevent water from entering the interior of your home.
  6. Consider using a gutter attachment for your pressure washer to direct water away from the house and prevent any potential water damage to the foundation or basement.
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By taking these precautions, you can protect the surrounding areas while still effectively pressure washing your redwood deck.

Pressure Washing Techniques

When pressure washing a redwood deck, it’s important to use the right techniques to ensure a clean and damage-free result. Here are some tips to help you get the best results:

1. Choosing the Right Pressure: Start by selecting the appropriate pressure level on your pressure washer. Redwood is a softwood, so using a pressure setting between 500 and 1,000 psi should be sufficient to remove dirt and grime without causing any damage.

2. Using the Correct Nozzle: Use a wide-angle nozzle, such as a 25-degree or 40-degree nozzle, to cover a larger surface area while reducing the risk of damaging the wood. Avoid using a 0-degree nozzle as it can be too powerful and may cause gouging or splintering.

3. Maintaining the Right Distance: Keep the pressure washer wand at a consistent distance of around 12 to 18 inches from the deck surface. Holding the wand too close can strip away the wood’s natural oils and damage the surface, while holding it too far away may result in inadequate cleaning.

4. Spraying in the Grain Direction: Always spray the deck in the direction of the wood grain. This helps to minimize any potential damage and ensures a more even and effective cleaning.

5. Preparing the Deck: Before pressure washing, clear the deck of any loose debris, such as leaves or twigs. Use a broom or brush to remove any stubborn dirt or stains that may require additional attention.

6. Testing an Inconspicuous Area: Before pressure washing the entire deck, test a small, inconspicuous area to ensure the pressure and technique are suitable. This allows you to make any necessary adjustments before tackling the rest of the deck.

7. Applying Even Pressure: As you pressure wash the deck, apply even pressure and avoid lingering in one spot for too long. Keep the wand moving smoothly to prevent any marks or uneven cleaning.

8. Drying Time: After pressure washing, allow the deck to dry completely before applying any sealant, stain, or paint. This ensures that the wood is ready to absorb the treatment and helps to prevent moisture-related issues.

Remember, safety should be a priority when pressure washing. Wear protective eyewear, gloves, and clothing, and be cautious of any electrical hazards. If you’re unsure about pressure washing your redwood deck, it’s always a good idea to consult a professional.

Starting with Low Pressure

When pressure washing a redwood deck, it is important to start with low pressure to avoid damaging the wood. Using high pressure right away can cause the wood to splinter or become discolored. It is recommended to start with a pressure setting of no more than 500 psi (pounds per square inch).

Before you begin, make sure to prepare the deck by removing any loose debris or furniture. Sweep the deck thoroughly to remove dirt, leaves, and other particles. If there are any stubborn stains or mold, use a mild deck cleaner or a mixture of water and vinegar to pre-treat those areas.

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Once the deck is prepared, attach the appropriate spray nozzle or tip to the pressure washer wand. A wide-angle tip or a fan tip works best for deck cleaning. Test the pressure by spraying a small inconspicuous area of the deck. If the pressure is too high, adjust it accordingly.

Hold the pressure washer wand about a foot away from the deck surface and spray in a sweeping motion. Start from one end and work your way to the other, making sure to cover every inch of the deck. Keep the nozzle moving at a steady pace and maintain the same distance from the deck to ensure an even clean.

It is important to be mindful of any electrical outlets, lighting fixtures, or other objects on the deck that could be damaged by the pressure washer. Cover them with plastic or waterproof tape to protect them from water damage.

After you have pressure washed the entire deck, allow it to dry completely before applying any stain or sealant. This will ensure that the wood absorbs the stain evenly and helps to maintain the longevity of the deck.

Remember, starting with low pressure is key to safely and effectively pressure washing your redwood deck. Take your time and be thorough in your cleaning process, and your deck will be looking brand new in no time.


What is the best way to pressure wash a redwood deck?

The best way to pressure wash a redwood deck is to start by sweeping the deck to remove any loose dirt or debris. Then, using a pressure washer with a wide-angle tip, spray the deck with a 45-degree angle to the grain of the wood. Move the washer in a slow and even motion, being careful not to stay in one spot for too long, as this can damage the wood. After pressure washing, allow the deck to fully dry before applying any stain or sealant.

Is it necessary to use a pressure washer to clean a redwood deck?

While it is not necessary to use a pressure washer to clean a redwood deck, it can be a very effective method. Pressure washing can remove built-up dirt, grime, and even mildew from the surface of the wood, leaving it looking clean and fresh. However, it is important to use the pressure washer correctly and avoid using excessive pressure that can cause damage to the wood.

What are some tips for safely pressure washing a redwood deck?

When pressure washing a redwood deck, it is important to take some safety precautions. First, wear protective clothing, including goggles and gloves, to protect yourself from water and cleaning agents. Secondly, be mindful of the pressure settings on your pressure washer, as using too much pressure can damage the wood. Finally, be aware of your surroundings and make sure to direct the spray away from plants, furniture, and other sensitive areas.

Can I pressure wash my redwood deck without a cleaning solution?

Yes, it is possible to pressure wash a redwood deck without using a cleaning solution. A pressure washer alone can effectively remove dirt and grime from the surface of the wood. However, if you have stubborn stains or mildew, using a cleaning solution specifically designed for redwood decks can help to break down and remove these stains more effectively.

How often should I pressure wash my redwood deck?

The frequency of pressure washing your redwood deck will depend on a variety of factors, such as the climate and amount of foot traffic on the deck. In general, it is recommended to pressure wash a redwood deck at least once a year to keep it clean and in good condition. However, if you notice excessive dirt or staining, you may need to pressure wash more frequently.